"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Frigg | Spring/Summer 2023 | Pennsylvania Turnpike | Robert Beveridge
artwork for Robert Beveridge's poem Pennsylvania Turnpike

Pennsylvania Turnpike
Robert Beveridge

Another glass
of rice wine. d.j. gets up
moves to the window

tenth anniversary
of his father’s death

“They repainted a stretch
of the Pennsylvania turnpike
in his honor,” he says.
His shaven head glints
in the moonlight

Another glass
of rice wine, Mozart’s Requiem,
d.j. sprawled on the floor.
Another cigarette.
Measuring out our time
as we approach 35.

d.j. makes tea. “I’ve never
gone that far north
since,” he says.
We drink
and listen
to the seconds pass

They sound like waves
on rock, relentless
assault, grain by grain.

Robert Beveridge’s Comments

This poem is a true image, at least as I remember it (and when I showed the poem to d.j., after stumbling into him on Facebook nearly three decades later, he didn’t contradict it in any way). I guess it strikes me now (at the time I just recognized it had power, not what that power was) as a symbol of how grief can be addressed via reflection; stillness as opposed to supernova.

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 61 | Spring/Summer 2023